I am staying in Storrs, Conn., at the Nathan Hale Inn and I’m guessing that when Hale delivered his famous line — “I regret that I have but one life to give for my country” — he was not on the UConn campus.
One life would be plenty in this place.
It is everything that the University of Florida isn’t — cold, dull and small. I don’t get how they keep attracting players to this place. I asked a local writer and he said that the players on the men’s and women’s teams are treated like gods. But I have been to so many campuses where I got it, understood why athletes would want to be on campus. I don’t get it here.
When I arrived, I asked someone what they do for fun. She said, “You have to drive 15 minutes to find any fun.”
I drove 15 minutes in every direction. No fun to be found.
The desk clerk at the Nathan hale told me the students refer to it as Snorrs. I get that.
I have never been to a campus that didn’t have a chain restaurant. Storrs has one resaurant, the Blue Oak Cafe in the hotel. I did find two Subways and a Starbucks so I guess there is some sign of civilization.
The campus itself is filled with beautiful buildings and steep hills, In that way, it reminds me of Athens, Ga. — without the bars, restaurants and people.
But they love their basketball here. Football, too. They don’t play their football games in Storrs anymore, instead in a new stadium near Hartford that was built six years ago. Until then they played in Memorial Stadium next to the basketball arena. I’m telling you, it makes Citizen’s Field look like Raymond James Stadium.
The writer — Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant — was telling me about the time Georgia Tech played UConn there and the players were looking around in disbelief because their high school stadiums were bigger and nicer.
The students here seem to love it, even as they bundle up in 30-degree weather. It works for them. But, man, I can’t wait to get back to Gainesville.